Comedian Dave Chappelle has come under fire for his new Netflix standup show, “Sticks And Stones." But lost in the furor of his routine, angering leftist ideals and liberal policies were Chappelle's poignant words regarding school shootings, and the drills they have in some schools.
"Why would you have kids rehearse for some s--- they have no control over? All you’re doing is training these kids to worry."
And he followed that with a poignant observation: “When you’re doing these drills, well, aren’t you training the shooter, too?”
This is a truth lost on some state Democrats. When Damien Kelly, director of the state Office of Safe Schools, met with a Senate Education Committee in Tallahassee this week, he was peppered with Dems' questions about the Guardian program. The demand for answers harks back directly to Chappelle's point, and the lack of common sense being applied to the questions.
The guardian program -- which allows for armed personnel inside schools -- has been met with outrage from those with a knee-jerk reaction to weapons. It was instituted following the bipartisan commission that looked into the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and one of the conclusions made was that, had armed authorities been inside, lives might have been saved.
The vocal outrage has been misplaced, to put it mildly. Imaginations have run wild. All teachers in all districts are NOT going to be packing, as critics of the program would have you believe. Teachers and/or staff all have volunteered, they haven't been recruited; all are going through a rigorous training program in the school districts participating; and all will be certified to perform their responsibility.
Thirty-six school districts in 11 counties have elected to institute the program. To date, 1,084 staff members are enrolled. But what has Democrats bothered is that this total involves armed security, school resource officers, and teachers who enrolled in the program. There is not an itemized breakdown of how many of those are teachers, and the Democrats want to know specific figures, and where those teachers are located.
“That’s not data that we ask (districts),” Damien Kelly, director of the state Office of Safe Schools, told a Senate committee Monday. “We don’t ask for any identifying information at all.” This is for sound reasoning. That anonymity is one of the layers of security. In much the same way shooters frequently seek out gun-free zones, anyone entering a school is aided in knowing if a particular classroom has an armed teacher or school staff member capable of foiling his or her plans.
Sen. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, understands this distinction. “I think that’s less important,” he stated, when asked about the lack of detailed lists, following the committee meeting. “The truth of it is, the entire idea behind this is really more of the air marshal concept, where you have a person who is trained and responsible at the school.” This is sound reasoning. On airline flights the marshals are not announced, in order to keep them from becoming targets for those ready to cause trouble.
One of the common refrains heard from the opponents to the concept of arming teachers is to have those funds directed to other areas of concern, such as mental health recognition and treatment. What they miss is that this is something the programs are also addressing.
Another individual who spoke at the Senate committee was Jacob Oliva, chancellor of the Division of Public Schools. He informed the politicians that Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran will be asking the Legislature for $100 million in per-student funding, aimed specifically at mental health services in the state’s schools. This would represent a $25 million increase over this year’s budget., and greatly exceeds the estimated $3 million-or-so spent on the guardian training program.
The posturing and feigned concern by Senate Dems over the exposure of teachers trained to carry weapons is done with a lack of concern over what this revealed information would come to mean. They plain aren't thinking. While they claim this is all being requested on behalf of public interestt, they ignore what the information could lead to. More than Dave Chappelle, their request to expose who these volunteer guardians are is itself a joke.
Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.